Goats, scones, and life-changing gifts

On day 11 of the 2011 True Spirit of Christmas Trip, our team introduced you to Joyce, who's life has been changed thanks to the gift of goats from the World Vision Gift Catalog. The goats provide Joyce with milk and a means for extra income that she sometimes uses to purchase ingredients to make scones from her own recipe.

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    Merry Christmas from around the world [PHOTO BLOG]

    What do Christmas celebrations look like in other parts of the world? In some places, World Vision throws big Christmas parties where disadvantaged children can enjoy the festivities and even receive presents. In other places, children participate in traditional celebrations that might look quite different than our American Christmas.

    Wherever you live, Merry Christmas to you and yours. We pray the holidays bring your family the love and joy of Christ.

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      It is better to give than receive

      When USA Today asked me about my favorite Christmas gifts given and received, I couldn’t help but reflect on the gifts I have received through World Vision. As a donor to World Vision U.S.

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        Something miraculous at Christmas

        The follow post was written by Narine Ohanyan, World Vision field communicator in Armenia.

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        Do you believe in miracles?

        For a mother in Armenia, something miraculous is happening at Christmas.

        “I love the ornaments and the lights. I love to stare at them,” says 4-year-old Narek Qotanjyan.

        Coming from a child in the United States, this statement wouldn’t be so surprising. However, Narek lives in Armenia with a disability.

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          A little child shall lead them

          Although I wrote this last year, I feel it deserves a repeat-performance. I visited this family again recently and brought their daughter Lilly an actual malaria net, like those World Vision uses in Africa because I know the compassion she feels for those affected by malaria, an experience from a previous visit with her folks. She's a busy 7-year-old now and couldn't remember the entire incident, so I promised to find what I'd written last year and send it to her. Re-reading it blessed me and I hope it blesses you, too.

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            Feeling gratitude — from the heart (Blessings #1 and #2)

            Counting your blessings this week for Thanksgiving? We are, too. Blessings #1 and #2: The people we serve and those who serve with us, and the many faithful donors and supporters of World Vision's work around the world. Thank you.

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            I was in the Dominican Republic last year with World Vision.

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              An ode to the toilet (PHOTO BLOG)

              How many times have you used the toilet today? Judging by the fact that you are awake enough to be reading this blog, I’m assuming the answer is at least once, and probably more. (Maybe you are even reading this while on the toilet, which means you probably have the luxury of using a loo that is clean, private, and relatively comfortable).

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                The story the photos will never tell

                Someone once said that a picture is worth a thousand words -- but as I sit here looking through photos from my recent trip to the Horn of Africa, I don’t think that’s true.

                This picture is of Falima, a 25-year-old Somalian who recently entered the Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya. She is holding her son, Abdullah, while her 3-year-old daughter, Fauhuya, hides behind her.

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                  The mystery of suffering: A before-and-after photo story

                  I’m often asked how I’ve been able to photograph human suffering for so much of my career and still maintain my sanity and belief in the goodness of God.

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                    Operation Seasweep: A 32-year story of God's provision

                    Thirty-two years ago, World Vision reported the rescue story of Operation Seasweep, the boat Mr. Vinh Chung was on, in the August 1979 issue of World Vision Magazine. Mr. Chung recently retold his story at our headquarters office. I spoke with him afterward for a fuller picture of his life after Seasweep and the miracle of God's provision for his family.

                    Two very different parts of Vinh Chung’s life meet when he walks on a beach.

                    In an instant, the smell of sea salt takes the 36-year-old skin cancer surgeon back to his 1979 exodus from Vietnam.

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